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As Scotland prepares to vote whether to end its 307-year affiliation with the United Kingdom, we're left to wonder what could have been if California were put to the same question.

As you might know, Tim Draper, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, sponsored a ballot initiative to split our beloved Golden State into six different states: a northern state called "Jefferson" from Chico to Oregon, a band surrounding Sacramento from the ocean to Nevada ("North California"), a "Central California" state, a Los Angeles-centric state called "West California," a Bay Area and coastal state ("Silicon Valley" -- really?), and a San Diego-based state called "South California."

Sadly, however, our billionaire's ballot initiative won't be appearing anytime soon.

Sunday's 6.0 earthquake in Napa County proved fairly destructive near the epicenter, toppling wine bottles, knocking out power, and shearing bricks off buildings. It was the strongest quake to hit the San Francisco Bay Area since 1989.

Even if earthquakes aren't that likely where you are, plug the magnitude of harm into Judge Learned Hand's cost-benefit analysis and you'll quickly discover it's worthwhile to take some steps to make your office more earthquake-resistant -- especially here in California.

Here are five tips not only for making your physical office more earthquake-proof, but also for making your practice earthquake-proof:

Governor Jerry Brown is poised to make California the second state in the nation to require "kill switches" in cell phones, reported The Washington Post.

Apple's iPhone and some Android devices already have technology built in that allow a user to mark a phone as stolen, preventing it from ever connecting to a cell phone network until it's unlocked. Previously, thieves could wipe the phone and re-sell it as a functional phone; a kill switch would block the phone from connecting to a cell phone network even after being wiped, providing a disincentive to steal phones in the first place.

In 2008, California voters approved Proposition 1A, authorizing the sale of bonds to fund a high-speed train that would run from Sacramento to Los Angeles. Ever since, the project has stalled due to lawsuits filed by everyone from the ever-present Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association to Central Valley farmers who object to rights of way through their land.

Opponents of the bullet train breathed some relief in 2013 when a Sacramento County Superior Court judge found the California High Speed Rail Authority's plan to sell bonds didn't comply with legal requirements and ordered signed contracts for construction to be rescinded.

But on July 31, it was the opponents' turn to sulk: The Third District Court of Appeal in Sacramento reversed the Superior Court decision, allowing the rail project to proceed. This is a dense opinion, so we're going to try to run down the basics.

The San Bruno gas pipeline explosion in 2010 killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes. Four years later, litigation is still ongoing. Last year, Pacific Gas & Electric -- the utility company responsible for the pipeline -- was told by the California Public Utility Commission that it should pay $2.25 billion "for decades of negligence," The Associated Press reported. Federal prosecutors have charged PG&E with felony safety violations.

Just when things couldn't get worse, last week, emails revealed as part of a lawsuit settlement suggest a very cozy relationship between PG&E and CPUC officials regulating the company.

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Last week, Governor Jerry Brown appointed Stanford Law professor Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar to the California Supreme Court, reported the Los Angeles Times. In January, Cuéllar will fill the seat of Justice Marvin Baxter, who will not seek reelection in November. Cuéllar has all the right bona fides to sit on California's highest court: Harvard undergraduate, Yale Law School, plus a Ph.D. in political science from Stanford. He's taught at Stanford Law School since 2001.

Cuéllar, however, has something that's unusual for a California Supreme Court justice: no judicial experience at all. Six of the seven justices on the Court came straight from a position on a Court of Appeal. Governor Brown's most recent appointment, Goodwin Liu, is the exception. Prior to joining the Supreme Court, Justice Liu was a professor at Berkeley Law School and had done some work in private practice and for the U.S. Department of Education. He was the odd man out on a court composed of people who were judges already.

2016: the year Californians declared their independence from each other.

What in the heck am I talking about? There's a proposition, apparently headed for the ballot in 2016, that would do just that: Split the state into six new states -- Jefferson, North California, Silicon Valley, Central California, West California, and South California. It's the scheme of venture capitalist Tim Draper, who has sunk $1.3 million into getting the necessary signatures. But even if the measure passes (59 percent of polled voters are against the idea), the state and federal legislatures would have to sign off.

In other words, it's never going to happen. But should it?

There are a lot of new faces on the appeals court bench.

We've already noted that Gov. Brown will have two vacancies to fill on the California Supreme Court alone. Late last month, he also addressed a number of vacancies on the state's appeals bench, with six nominees.

All six are expected to be confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. The Commission is headed by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye. The two other votes belong to Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris and a senior presiding justice of the appellate court for which the candidate has been nominated, reports the Los Angeles Times.

It's bad enough trying to pass the bar in this dear state. With a three-day exam, no reciprocity with anyone, and the exorbitant fees, plus the cost of bar review class, joining the California State bar is no picnic. Part and parcel of course is the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE), which to be fair, is pretty much required everywhere, but it's still one more thing to add to the list.

But don't worry, current and future law students: things will get worse. The current word from the State Bar is that a few teaks to "training requirements" for incoming lawyers are on the way, ones that will make things more difficult for law schools, law students, and young cash-strapped lawyers looking to tap into the Golden State's job market.

The dust is still settling after Hobby Lobby, in which the Supreme Court ruled in favor of exempting closely held corporations from the Obamacare contraceptive mandate, but Californians may not feel the aftershock.

Why? California has laws in place that require employers to include birth control in their prescription drug coverage. But these laws don't cover the same legal ground as the healthcare mandate.

So how will Hobby Lobby affect Californians?